Whether you are a beginner wakesurfer or an experienced surfer looking for a new wakesurf board to nail that new trick, choosing from the wide selection of boards available can be overwhelming. Wakesurf boards come in a seemingly endless variety of shapes, sizes, and styles with different features such as rail design, rocker lines, tail shape, and fin setup that will all change your riding experience. With so much to consider, how do you know which board is right for you?
This guide will walk you through some of the basics by covering the three most common wakesurf board styles, what to look for in boards for beginners or children, and an introduction to fins, tails, and rails.
Wakesurf Board Styles
There are three main styles of wakesurf board: surf, skim, and hybrid. Each style offers a different type of riding so you can choose the one that best suits your specific needs.
Surf Style Wakesurf Boards
When you think of riding a board on the water, your mind might instantly think of a standard surfboard. Surf style wakesurf boards are very similar, and can even be described as smaller, shorter surfboards designed for the wake, rather than ocean waves. This is the most popular wakesurf board style as it offers something for wakesurfers of any experience level, from the beginner to the seasoned surfer. If you are just starting out, you will find this board easy to learn on. If you have been wakesurfing for a while and know your way around the water, this style of board will offer quicker speeds while you surf the wake.
Skim Style Wakesurf Boards
Intermediate to advanced wakesurfers may prefer a skim style board. These boards are smaller than the surf style board and typically have smaller fins. They glide faster on the water and are easier for the surfer to maneuver, making them better suited to both learning and performing tricks such as spins and airs. Unlike the surf style, these boards are designed to do more than just ride the wake, meaning this will likely be your go-to board if you are seeking even more of an adrenaline rush.
Hybrid Style Wakesurf Boards
Hybrid style boards are a must-have for those who want the option to surf the wake or perform tricks with just a single wakesurfing board. This board combines the best features of both the surf and skim style boards, so you can decide how you are feeling out on the water that day. However, these are not the best boards for beginners and will make it more difficult to learn how to wakesurf. Beginners will want to invest in one of these boards after they have grown more experienced in the watersport.
Choosing a Beginner Wakesurf Board
When you are first learning how to wakesurf, the general recommendation is to go for the most common style of board – the surf style. These boards are stable and buoyant, which will help you learn wakesurfing basics, such as getting up on the board and staying with the wave. They are also larger and offer more surface area, which adds to their stability. After learning some beginner wakesurfing moves and tricks, you may want to consider investing in an additional board, like a skim or a hybrid.
Wakesurf Boards for Children
If your child wants to learn how to wakesurf, look for a smaller board. Smaller boards are best for smaller people, including children, because wakesurf boards rely on the surfer’s mass to make them move. Many wakesurf board manufacturers make smaller versions of their best-selling boards for younger surfers.
Fins, Tails, and Rails
After you have the basics down, you may find yourself developing a particular surfing style. Thankfully, different wakesurfing boards can offer different wakesurfing experiences with a selection of various fins, tails and rails:
- Fins – How the fin is set up changes the way the board rides and feels. Single fins are most common on skim style boards and offer stability and control. The thruster, a three-fin setup, is the most popular option due to its versatility. The quad fin enables faster speeds and will only be found on surf style boards.
- Tails – The shape of the board’s tail changes the way it feels riding on the water. Bigger, wider tails will get more push for fast speeds, while smaller, more rounded tails make the board more responsive for performing tricks.
- Rails – The rail is what decides how water flows past the board. Sharper rails make the board move faster, while rounded rails add stability.
The specific setup you choose for your board will depend on a variety of factors, including your experience level, whether you want to surf, perform tricks or both, and how you want the ride to feel overall.
Ready to Get Started Wakesurfing?
A favorite activity among watersports enthusiasts, wakesurfing continues to rise in popularity and is a great way to spend a day on the water. Whether you’re just learning how to wakesurf or looking to advance your skills, continue to visit our blog for the latest information and tips on wakesurfing.